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UFC Planning Four or Five Events and a Season of TUF in Brazil for 2012


(“Can you believe I used to wear boxers this big?”)

It looks like the UFC’s return to Brazil in August was a fruitful one for Zuffa as Tatame is reporting that reps from the Las Vegas-based promotion are in the South American country working on a deal that could see a season of The Ultimate Fighter filmed in Sao Paulo  as well as up to five events in the region in 2012. The group met with the mayor of the city, Gilberto Kassab, yesterday afternoon and today are meeting with the governor Geraldo Alckmin.

UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told the Brazilian combat sport magazine earlier this summer while in Rio for UFC 134 that he was pleasantly surprised with the amount of support they got in the birthplace of the sport and that they were looking at bringing the Octagon back as many as five times next year.

“We underestimated how popular it was here. If we could do it again, we would do it in a big soccer stadium, you know? But when we put the tickets on sale, we really didn’t know. But it’s been amazing the amount of support, it’s unbelievable,” he explained. “We’re working on [bringing TUF here]; we’re really close to get something done. We think it’s gonna be very successful – a Brazilian Ultimate Fighter, all Brazilian fighters. One thing that is great about this country is that you have so many great fighters, finding talents is easy. There are some many good kids”.

The report goes on to state that Cicero Pompeu de Toledo stadium, which is the home of Sao Paulo’s soccer team and has a capacity of 70,000 not including floor seats, is a possible venue for the UFC’s next Brazilian event. The stadium has played host to musical acts like Paul McCartney, U2, Iron Maiden, Shakira, Madonna and Michael Jackson — the last of whom attracted over 100,000 fans to a show in 1993. If an event is held there, there’s a good chance that the UFC’s previous attendance record of 55,000 set in Toronto at UFC 129 in April would likely be shattered.

Fertitta said that they are also eyeing UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo‘s hometown of Manaus as another possible site for a future show.

“We’ve met with the governor of Manaus and they want us to do a fight there. It’s interesting for us, because Jose Aldo is from there, so it’s maybe an opportunity to bring him back to fight in front of his home town”, Fertitta said.

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MrBlondeSL- September 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm
Seems logical that they would go back, I bet the UFC has more say-so with everything there than here in the states.
Fried Taco- September 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm
@skeletor - There is a web site called CageMandioca that is very popular with the Xingu and other tribes. That's why I think having a UFC in Manaus would be really cool, except they will have to check everyone attending to make sure no bows and poison-tipped arrows are brought in.
skeletor- September 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm
@Fried Taco - I know, that's what makes these claims of Sonnen's pretty ridiculous. Brazil is actually one of the global leaders in green technology and the companies that go along with those industries are showing substantial growth in the global economy. Brazil is on the upswing economically and is a very important force in forward thinking both environmentally and technologically. The fact that Brazil is still has over an 80% undeveloped forest to city ratio and still has real native people (savages to some) makes these types of claims easy to perpetrate. Either way they will most definitely sell these shows out internet or no internet.
Fried Taco- September 23, 2011 at 11:34 am
@skeletor - I know you're just being facetious, but for others who might believe what you wrote: while there is a huge poor class that can't afford to attend UFC events, there is a large middle class that does spend lots of money on events like this. Rock in Rio is huge in Brazil, drawing people from all over the country. As for going to the UFC instead of work, you have to understand how hard Brazilians work. It would just be a normal lunch hour for them.
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But really, to understand how popular MMA is in Brazil, what MMA fighter in the USA would be a common household name like Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, and others are in Brazil? Chocolate Al would be the closest we have, and I'm afraid everyone has forgotten about his awesome Dancing with the Stars appearance.
Fried Taco- September 23, 2011 at 11:26 am
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skeletor- September 23, 2011 at 11:25 am
He seems to forget that Brazil is a third world country. The fans who sold out the venue before spent there entire life savings on that ticket. The only reason it sold out so fast is because none of them had anywhere to go that day since they don't have jobs.
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On top of that they are going to have to spend a bunch of money on guys to walk around each individual village to promote the fights since no one in Brazil has the internet or phones.
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